Focus Trends: Casual Dining

FOCUS TRENDS is a monthly retail strategies article on a specific retail category highlighting growth and contraction within the market. For more information, please see our WEBINAR on Casual Dining.


Declining sales and closures have been the story of the casual dining sector for the past year. National “casual dining” chains such as Applebee’s and Red Lobster have had to rethink their real estate and operations as consumer preferences have changed. Meanwhile, the “fast casual” and “upscale dining” establishments have grown during the same time period.
RetailStrategies Casual Dining 2017

The Numbers

It’s not all bad news. Texas Roadhouse, Olive Garden, and others have stayed afloat and even expanded. Smaller cities desiring a sit-down restaurant have seen regional chains serving the customers that national chains no longer attract.

The mid-scale dining chains that will succeed are those that embrace the new dining trends. Offering home delivery, modern and healthy options, and a unique dining atmosphere are some of the ways forward for restaurants in this sector.

Retail Strategies_Casual Dining 2017 ~ expansion & closures
Retail Strategies: Casual Dining 2017 ~ expansion & closures


Retailer Name Existing Stores 2016 New Stores Closures 2016
Applebee’s 1873 39 38
IHOP 1612 54 24
Denny’s 1597 40 31
Chili’s 1272 29 21
Buffalo Wild Wings 1155 119 47
Olive Garden 837 35 37
Outback Steakhouse 750 14 45
Red Lobster 678 0 0
Cracker Barrel 641 9 2
Steak n’ Shake 569 41 24
Golden Corral 480 7 36
Texas Roadhouse 478 59 3
Hooters 340 4 2

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